Today is the big day for “Surprise Me Again.” A year ago I wrote “Surprise Me” for The Candy Hearts Series with The Wild Rose Press. I remember I was sitting on the back deck of the house, struggling with the story, when Josie and Carson, a married couple in their early forties, yelled at me, “WE WANT A MENAGE.” Unfortunately I yelled this out loud. My husband, who was reading on the other side of the table, slapped his book down and said, “What?!#&” It was rather funny. He calmed down when I explained I was talking about my characters.
As Josie and Carson’s story unfolded, I realized I couldn’t get their fantasies down in a short story, so I ran the idea of continuing their story past my editor. She agreed, and “Surprise Me Again,” was born. I had fun learning what their fantasies were, creating Eric, and solving the problem of their sons. Eric turned out to be my favorite character in the book.
I love the cover, designed by Diana Carlisle. Right now, I’d give anything to be on the beach, wearing pink flip flops. After all, it’s February in Northwestern Wisconsin. I’m so ready for summer!!
Blurb: Charged with trespassing and indecent exposure on Erik Stenson’s private beach, Carson and Josie Sandberg return to South Padre Island to take care of the ticket. However, their reunion with Erik is not what they expected. An invitation for a drink turns into a weekend of passion that fulfills fantasies and leaves all parties wanting to explore a threesome outside the bedroom. Will time, distance, and family issues stand in the way, or will they be surprised again?
Excerpt: “What about you?” Josie said. “Have you ever been married?”
“I was. Years ago. It didn’t last.”
A flicker of sorrow passed over Josie’s eyes. “Can you tell us what happened?” She frowned into her drink. “That is, if you want to.”
“It’s okay. I married Jessica about…” Hell how long had it been? Where had the time gone? “I guess nearly twenty years ago. Like you, we met in college, fell in love, married. Things were good for a few years.”
Josie leaned to her side, allowing the waiter to place a plate before her. Ignoring her food, she folded her hands under chin and kept her attention on him. “What happened?”
“We wanted children. Jessica ached for children. It became an obsession.” Eric took one of the large shrimp from the platter in the middle of the table and began peeling it with trembling fingers, giving him a chance to get his emotions under control. Lord, how he’d wanted children, but not enough to end his marriage.
“After a few years when we didn’t conceive, we looked for answers. By that time Jessica was convinced she was the problem and fell into a deep depression. Nothing I did helped. She wouldn’t agree to see a counselor. My mother finally convinced us to seek a fertilization doctor.” Eric threw the shrimp on his plate and took a long swallow of beer. “Turns out I was the problem, not her. Seems those mumps I’d had as a kid did a number on my little swimmers. Killed them all.”
“Hell, that’s awful, man,” Carson said while Josie placed her hand on Eric’s.
Their sympathy nearly did him in. He swallowed around the lump in his throat and squeezed his damp eyes.
After all these years, the pain was still buried under his heart only to surface on dark, lonely nights and like now as he recounted the story. They were the first ones he’d opened up to. None of the other people in his threesomes had even cared to ask.
Carson took a sip of his beer. “What happened then?”
“I wanted to adopt. Wanted to create a family with Jessica. It didn’t matter if the children were of our blood or not. The doctors had talked about in-vitro. Turns out Jessica didn’t feel the same way.” He took deep breath and tried to calm his pounding heart. He wiped his palms on his shorts.
“I came home one day with information on adoption and some on in-vitro fertilization only to find her and her stuff gone. She had left me a note, telling me she wanted children from her own body. Wanted to create them naturally. Didn’t want to be married to a man who wasn’t a man.”
“The bitch,” Josie said, her eyes filling with tears. “Oops, sorry. I shouldn’t have called her that.”
“Don’t worry. I’ve called her that and worse.”
“How the hell did you handle it?” Carson asked. “I would have been devastated if Josie had done that to me.”
“I drank and buried myself in my writing. I wrote my first novel during this time.”
“If I recall, that book was rather cutting against women,” Carson said.
Eric shook his head and chuckled. “Yeah. I enjoyed killing off my heroine. Coincidentally, she closely resembled my ex.”
“Did you get in trouble for it?” Josie asked, peeling her third shrimp.
“Since I use a pen name, I don’t think she even knows I write. Besides, she was too busy finding another husband to father her eight children.”
Carson choked on his beer. “Eight?”
“Yeah. She really did want kids, but I’m not sure I would have agreed to that many. I was also told she’s gained about a hundred pounds.” Under Josie’s quiet scrutiny, he dropped his gaze to his plate.
“It still hurts, though, doesn’t it?” Josie asked.
Eric shrugged. “It’s not as bad as it was. I sometimes think about how I could have kids in college or be a grandfather by now.”
The Wild Rose Press: http://wildcatalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-erotic/4932-surprise-me-again.html
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/surprise-me-again-anita-kidesu/1125549612?ean=2940157556693
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